EARTH SCIENCE | OCEANS | TIDES
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Water level heights were measured every 5 minutes at five station locations in the 70km length Tamar estuary, Tasmania, for six months. Pressure loggers deployed in the water recorded total pressure and the inverse barometer effect was accounted for by two additional pressure loggers deployed above ground within 15km of a station. The data include barometric pressure, water temperature, and water level relative to Australian Height Datum (AHD83). The data captures tidal amplification and asymmetry between ebb and flood tides in the estuary for the purpose of a research project completed in 2018 by Karen Palmer. Based on the Tamar estuary model created for NRM North by BMT WBM Pty Ltd using TUFLOW FV (with permission), a new hydrodynamic model was created and calibrated with observed water levels. Different scenarios of sea level rise and bathymetry change were then simulated to model the effects on tidal amplitude and phase.
In collaboration with the Tasmanian State Emergency Service, water level monitoring instruments were installed to enable the collection of data in four estuaries identified as being vulnerable to coastal and compound flooding: Derwent Estuary, Huon Estuary, Georges Bay, and Macquarie Harbour. These instruments recorded fluctuations in water levels due to the combined influences of tide, river discharge, and weather events. The effects of the January 2022 Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai tsunami following a significant submarine volcanic explosion was also recorded in three out of the four estuaries. The datasets, comprising reduced water level observations, predicted water level, and residuals, are available from the IMAS Data Portal. Water level observations of varying duration were recorded between November 2020 – November 2022 for 14 sites in four Tasmanian estuaries. This work was undertaken by Karen Palmer as part of a PhD candidature at the University of Tasmania under the supervision of Dr Christopher Watson, Dr John Hunter, Assoc Prof Hannah Power (University of Newcastle), and Dr Rebecca Harris.